Real Estate Market

Featured Listing

Featured Listing

For Sale: $279,900

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Highlands County Market Trends

How Has Tax Reform Effected Real Estate in 2018

When the new tax legislation was passed in late 2017, many experts predicted negative impacts on the real estate market as some incentives were cut or eliminated for the 2018 tax year. Those predictions included decreased sales and stagnant values as buyers and sellers felt compelled to wait due to the loss in deductions from interest or property taxes.

Now that we are well in to 2018, it’s safe to say the market hasn’t taken the hit than many experts were predicting. Demand is outpacing supply as evidenced by multiple offers resulting in above listing price sales at a record pace. However, tight inventory is putting downward pressure on sales units simply because there is not enough to go around. Many sellers are staying where they are longer because they can’t find the home they want to move into creating a cycle that is slow to change.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, attributed the slight sales slump seen in April to spring’s staggeringly low inventory levels. “The root cause of the underperforming sales activity in much of the country so far this year continues to be the utter lack of available listings on the market to meet the strong demand for buying a home,” he said. 

Experts predicted buyer demand would shrink as interest rates began to climb and incentives to shrink. This hasn’t happened. Nationally, buyer showings as reported by Showingtime were up 4.6% in April compared to the same time last year. Interest rates are still climbing causing many buyer’s budgets to constrict but this hasn’t caused a dip in activity as of yet. Interest rates will likely continue to climb throughout the year but buying a home is still extremely affordable in most markets and the best investment vehicle available to build long-term wealth.

Only you can decide what is right for you but owning a home offers significant benefits far beyond tax advantages so don’t let that be your deciding factor. Professionals like real estate agents, mortgage professionals and tax advisors can provide a long list of reasons to purchase a home but you will need to make a decision that meets your needs.

Call me to discuss your specific situation and what is best for you.

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Make Sure Your Pet Will be Comfortable in Your New Home

More and more people want to purchase homes that truly accommodate their pets. They don’t just want a home for themselves but one that will allow their pets to be just as comfortable as they are.

Start with the basics. Make sure there are no restrictions on the property you are interested in that will keep you from bringing your pet along. Some properties, such as condo buildings, may not allow pets at all or may have a limit on the number and size of the pets that are allowed. Make sure the property you are interested in offers all of the space your pet will need. That may just mean room to walk your dog around the block but could include space to store your dog’s bed or a fenced yard so your pets can enjoy some freedom outside and off the leash. If you are moving to a new area, make sure there are no restrictions that might prevent you from keeping the pet you have.

Think too about the features of the home. If your dog can’t go up the stairs on their own but they sleep with you every night, make sure you are comfortable carrying them up the stairs every night. What kind of floors does the home have? Do you need something specific? Some floors can be slippery to pets or they might get their claws stuck in a snag on the carpet.

What is nearby for your pet? Are pet stores, veterinarians, a dog park and day care available when you need them or will you have to drive an hour each way?  Will your pets be bothered by a train that goes by four times a day and makes significant noise? When you leave the pet alone, will they bark  and annoy your neighbors? Are you close enough to your neighbors that they will complain about your pet?  Are there sidewalks that you can walk your dog on or will you be competing for the road among cars, pets, runners and more?

Some pets may not be fond of change. When you move, try to keep as many things the same as possible. Start making small changes and make them one at a time to help your pet prepare for their new home.

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home.

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Plan Your Move...
While on the Move

My FREE Mobile App offers a dynamic map of Highlands County Real Estate which offers you customized searches that interest you and so much more.

Click here to download the app now and start looking for your next home. 


Find it in the App Store for Your SmartPhone

House vs Condo: Which is Right for You?

If you have decided to purchase a home, you will have a lot of decisions to make so that you can start narrowing down your choices and select the home that will work for you. You will need to decide where you want your home to be located, how large you want your home to be, the size of your home and if you want a single-family home or are more interested in a townhouse or condo for your residence.

Here are some reasons to consider a condo or townhouse. While there are all different kinds of home today and price ranges can vary widely depending on the location, size and amenities that accompany the property, condos and townhouses often start out less expensive than single-family homes. A lot of this has to do with the cost of the land and the fact that the builder is able to put more housing units on a piece of land than if they built detached homes.

Another thing you may like in a condo or townhouse development are the amenities that are part of the community. Many developments include pools, exercise rooms, tennis courts, club houses as well as other options. Having these amenities right nearby can be convenient for your free time.

If you travel a lot for work or are just really busy with other activities in your free time, you may like the freedom that comes with a condo or townhouse. The exterior of the property and common areas will be maintained by someone else. This will save you time and expense over having to spend every weekend in the yard taking care of things. You also are less likely to wind up with neighbors that don’t take care of their property since everything is taken care of by the association.

While we have discussed the upsides of a townhouse or condo, detached single-family dwellings have great benefits as well. To start, if you are looking for more space, houses frequently come in a wider variety of sizes than their multi-family counterparts giving you more options to choose from. If you are wanting outdoor space for your personal use, you will have more land with this option as well. You may want additional land to plant a garden, have room for a dog or a place for your kids to play.

A house will also give you more privacy than a condo or townhouse with more space between you and your neighbors. While you can make your own choices for the inside of a townhouse or condo, you won’t be able to make decisions about the outside so you will have more choices to express your personal style with a house than a condo.

In addition, though the purchase price of a condo or townhouse is frequently less than with a house, you can expect higher association dues than with most neighborhoods. If you don’t think you will use most of the amenities in your condo association, it may not be worth paying for things you don’t want.

Go through this list and decide what is most important to you. Then find a real estate agent to help you find the property that meets your needs and remember that a property doesn’t have to be forever so select the type of property that will meet your needs for this stage in your life.

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Client Testimonials

Went Above and Beyond

Your services were well above what we expected. We will recommend your services to anyone without reservation.”
Mr. & Mrs. Raiman, Wilmington, IL

Sharp, Personable, and Responsive

"We interviewed several realtors to see who would be the best realtor for us to sell our home in Sebring, Fl. Maureen rose to the top. She priced our house right on (the "other" realtor low balled the price of the house) But Maureen was right on. We made $20,000 more because Maureen was our realtor. She's sharp, personable, responsive and knows her market. If you call Maureen to sell your home, you won't have to interview anyone else. Thank you Maureen. It was a pleasure working with you. On a side sold relatively fast."

Patty and Len

The Only Realtor

"Maureen helped my 82 mother in her sale to move closer to me. Very impressive and professional service. She was like a good friend in listening and helping my mother go through the whole stressful process of listing and selling and then closing of her property. Maureen kept in direct contact with me through the whole process. I Highly Recommend Maureen as "the only realtor" that should be your choice if you need to sell or purchase a property in Sebring ."




For the uninformed, blogging is hitting the Internet today and making a real impact!

What is a blog? An easy explanation of this is a WEB LOG or a journal on the web. It’s a place where folks can “voice” their thoughts, share ideas, or comment on those of others. 

Highlands County Florida now has such a blog where new items of interest will be posted and comments can be made. Topics range from those related to real estate and community highlights to local events of interest or anything personal or business related that might be perceived as worthwhile information for public knowledge, discussion and/or use. 

It’s even possible to subscribe to a blog of interest and receive text updates on your iPod! Check out the latest updates for the Highlands County Real Estate Blog:   

Thanks for reading my newsletter, and please feel free to forward this email in it's entirety to anyone you feel would benefit from it.    

To UNSUBSCRIBE scroll to bottom and use the link. You will be removed automatically and immediately. Please also ignore this newsletter if your home is listed with another broker. It's not our intent to solicit other brokers listings.





Contact Information

Photo of Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS Real Estate
Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS
RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South
Sebring FL 33870
Toll Free: 1 888 243-COOL (2665)
Fax: 863-385-5897

Maureen Cool * RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South, Sebring, Florida 33870
Office: 863-385-0077 X215
Direct: 863-873-7243
Fax: 863-385-5897



Maureen Cool of RE/MAX Realty Plus offers real estate services to buyers, sellers, relocation's in the Highlands County real estate area.

Including Polk County, Hardee County, Okeechobee County, Desota County and Glades County.

Whether you are looking for luxury, investment, second home, commercial, bank owned, foreclosures properties Maureen Cool and The Cool Team are your real estate professionals for the entire Central Florida area.

Maureen Cool is your Luxury Home Expert in Highlands County. 
She can assist you with your Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid real estate needs. 



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